GEORGE TOWN: A former general manager of Penang Hill Corporation was awarded RM417,000 in damages for unlawful termination before the expiry of his three-year employment contract.
High Court judge Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah said clause 8.4 of Khoo Teng Cheok’s service agreement was ultra vires the Penang Hill Enactment 2009.
His lawyer V Satchitanandan had submitted that only the state authorities, and not the corporation, had the power to revoke the appointment, which the court agreed with.
“The plaintiff is entitled to his salary and allowances for the remaining period of the contract,” the judge said in his ruling delivered to parties via email this afternoon.
Tun Abd Majid said the issue before him was whether clause 8.4 was ultra vires the enactment.
“I hold that it is ultra vires the enactment. Therefore, the termination is unlawful,” he added.
He also awarded RM3,000 in costs to the plaintiff.
Khoo, now 69, was given a three-year contract from Feb 20, 2014 but was removed from office in January 2016.
He filed an originating summons in 2020 seeking a declaration that the termination was unlawful and that he was entitled to wages and allowances for the remaining period.
The corporation was set up in 2009 with the primary objective of managing the funicular (cable railway) system and the development of Penang Hill.
Lawyer Pravin Kaur Jessy appeared for the corporation.